Waiting for Godot: Play Analysis

Pages: 6 (2674 words) Published: April 29, 2012
A form of drama that emphasizes the absurdity of human existence by employing disjointed, repetitious, and meaningless dialogue, purposeless and confusing situations, and plots that lack realistic or logical development. The world seems utterly chaotic. We therefore try to impose meaning on it through pattern and fabricated purposes to distract ourselves from the fact that our situation is hopelessly unfathomable. "Waiting for Godot" is a play that captures this feeling and view of the world, and characterizes it with archetypes that symbolize humanity and its behaviour when faced with this knowledge. According to the play, a human being's life is totally dependant on chance, and, by extension, time is meaningless; therefore, a human's life is also meaningless, and the realization of this drives humans to rely on nebulous, outside forces, which may be real or not, for order and direction. The beginning of the play establishes Vladimir and Estragon's relationship. Vladimir clearly realizes that Estragon is dependent on him when he tells Estragon that he would be "nothing more than a little heap of bones" without him. Vladimir also insists that Estragon would not go far if they parted. This dependency extends even to minute, everyday things, as Estragon cannot even take off his boot without help from Vladimir. The basic premise of the play is that chance is the underlying factor behind existence. Therefore human life is determined by chance. This is established very early on, when Vladimir mentions the parable of the two thieves from the Bible. "One of the thieves was saved. It's a reasonable percentage" (Beckett, 8). The idea of "percentage" is important because this represents how the fate of humanity is determined; it is random, and there is a percentage chance that a person will be saved or damned. Pozzo -  He passes by the spot where Vladimir and Estragon are waiting and provides a diversion. In the second act, he is blind and does not remember meeting Vladimir and Estragon the night before. He is introduced in the play as a slave driver. As a rich man he is accustomed to materialistic ways of wealth and opulence. He commands total attention and feels proud to introduce himself - "I present myself: Pozzo." Any mistake regarding his identity is met with ferocious resentment. He prides upon declaring that the rest are humans like him, but considers himself superior to the rest. He asserts that he is forced to be a part of this society, because he has no society of his "likes." His scorn and contempt for Lucky knows no bounds. The abuses that he hurts and heaps on him and the amount of control he has on him serve as an example of his exploiting nature. Lucky is reduced to an automaton with no voice of his own. In the first act, Pozzo makes himself comfortable at the expense of his slave. Pozzo shows some generosity in allowing Gogo to collect the leftover bones. However, he is particular about Lucky's right - "In theory the bones go to the carrier." By Act II, the proud and sometimes cruel Pozzo has lost his sight and must necessarily be led around by his slave. His helplessness is seen when he falls down and cries for assistance to get up. From an arrogant and wealthy exploiter he changes to a pathetic helpless man.It is impossible to consider Pozzo as a character independent of his slave, Lucky. In the first place, they are bound together by a rope. At no point are the two men separated. In the first act, the rope is long; the audience sees Lucky long before they see Pozzo. Pozzo presents himself with God-like pomp, which is probably the reason he is mistaken for Godot. In symbolic terms, the god- like character is bound to his inferior slave, but the distance between them is great. In the second act, however, the rope is shorter. At the same time, the god-like character has fallen into pathetic disarray. He is blind and weak. All the pomp and extravagance which once defined him is gone. In this act, his slave must...
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